Christopher A. Thomas is a nonresident senior fellow in Foreign Policy at Brookings, the chairman of Integrated Insights, a board director at Velodyne LIDAR, and a visiting professor at Tsinghua University. He is also affiliated with the Brookings Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technology Initiative.
Thomas’ current research focuses on the semiconductor industry, digital transformation through the use of artificial intelligence, and the geopolitical impact of the growing technology industry in East Asia. His upcoming work looks at policy options related to potential bifurcation of the technology industry into U.S. and Chinese spheres, national economic policy and the impact on the semiconductor industry, and the role of multinational corporations in shaping global technology policy.
Thomas previously spent nine years as partner at McKinsey & Company (2011-20), where he led the firm’s Asia Semiconductor Practice and served as co-managing partner for its Global Digital Strategy and Global Internet of Things (IoT) service lines. From 1999 to 2009, Thomas was with Intel Corporation, holding roles including general manager of Intel China and chief of staff to the global head of sales and marketing. He began his career as a private equity investor at The Blackstone Group in New York City.
Thomas is also the founder of the CEO Circle, a regular gathering of more than 200 Chinese C-suite leaders; and an invited member of the U.S.-China Track II Dialogues on the Digital Economy. A globally recognized expert on the semiconductor industry, global companies’ strategy for competing in East Asia, as well as the cooperation and competition between the U.S. and Chinese technology ecosystems, he has published widely on those topics, including at McKinsey, Stanford, Caixin, and the Brookings Institution.
In 2021, the State Council of the People’s Republic of China recognized Thomas as a national-level foreign expert in science and technology.
Thomas received a Master of Business Administration from Stanford Business School, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar; a Master of Arts in political science from Stanford University; and a Bachelor of Science in economics, summa cum laude, from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Council on Foreign Relations, member
Integrated Insights, chairman
National Committee on US-China Relations, member
Tsinghua University, visiting professor of strategy
Velodyne LIDAR, board director
Areas of Expertise
- Digital transformation through the use of artificial intelligence
- Geopolitical impact of the growing technology industry in East Asia
- Semiconductor industry
- Chairman, Integrated Insights
- Board Director, Velodyne LIDAR
- Visiting Professor of Strategy, Tsinghua University
- Partner, McKinsey & Company (2011-2020)
- General Manager (China), Intel Corporation (1999-2009)
- Private Equity Investor, The Blackstone Group
- M.B.A., Stanford Business School
- M.A., Stanford University
- B.S., summa cum laude, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania